After such a long an exhausting day yesterday and with the thermometer tipped to nudge 40C I planned a cooler start to the day by a trip to another friggin’ mall. To be honest, the only reason I was going to see the Mall of the emirates, is because they have an indoor ski slope and its air conditioned! In fact other than the 200m walk from the hotel to the metro station the whole trip was air conditioned. The metro was packed as Sunday is a working day in Dubai and in the islam world in general. They tend to take Fridays off as that is their holy day for the important prayers of the week. My work colleagues just take long lunches and come back with something delicious that was sold at the mosque for lunch. Thinking when I’m back home I’ll tag along just to see what delicious lunches are for sale at the local mosque. Back on topic the mall is a fair way from Dubai. The red metro line itself is 50+ kilometres long and Dubai is spread along the coast line. You can see the three areas of high rises from the Burj Khalifa, being Dubai, the Burj Khalifa district and this Mall of the Emirates District. Otherwise the suburbs are fairly low 1-2 storey residential areas with minarets of mosques piercing up to the sky only matched by the number of mobile phone towers also visible. The mall itself is apparently smaller than the Dubai Mall I was in yesterday. It does have a rather nice glass roof as a centrepiece.
I had declined the overpriced hotel breakfast so found a place to eat that made crepes and had coffee and watched the locals. This mall being out in the suburbs is considerably more conservative in nature. It even has a dress code of covered knees and shoulders and say a lot more local arabs here than in town where asians and indians out number arabs. I didn’t actually see any burqas at all mostly modern women with headscarves and jeans and the occasional man in the white robes with the red checked head scarf. No Dad, I’m not buying you an arab head scarf.
I then wandered off to find the ski slope in the mall. I found it and it turned out to be a winter wonderland for those who don’t seem to get winter ever. All sorts of attraction inside, most seemed to be about taking your photo and selling it to you later for a small ransom. I didn’t go inside and instead found a coffee shop with a view and bought a large coffee which turned out to be a double handled soup bowl of coffee.
I wandered around as much as I could until boredom set in. I’ve decided Dubai is not for me. If you love Singapore you’ll probably love Dubai. The place is full of shopping experiences and concocted things like skiing inside, aquariums, resorts, water theme parks and other attractions that just didn’t interest me. Its a shame because if I fly this way again, the options all seem to come via the middle east rather than SE Asia these days. There is Ferrari world and the falcon hospital down in Abu Dhabi I’d like to visit and Oman next door looks to be a good country to visit also.
I’m off to Jordan tomorrow when the weather looks more pleasant, Petra awaits and my bank balance looks to be ready to take a hit. Its not a cheap place to visit!